Karl Andree , 74, has already been in jail for more than a year and now, despite his age and ill health, faces a further punishment of more than lashes which his family says could kill him. He has dedicated 25 years of his life to working in the kingdom but, his family says, the punishment could effectively see him sentenced to death by the state. In October , a Saudi airline employee called Mazen Abdul-Jawad appeared on a TV programme aired by the Lebanese Broadcasting Corporation where he discussed his sex life, picking up girls and a recipe for an aphrodisiac. Talking about sex publicly is forbidden in the ultra-conservative country.
He lives in Mecca, the holiest city according to Islam, and is acutely aware of the stigma that surrounds his gay lifestyle. But I know that I'm gay and I'm living as one, so I can't see a clear vision for the future. Samir, like many gay men in the Arab world , guards his sexual orientation with a paranoid secrecy. To feel free he takes long vacations to Thailand, where he has a boyfriend, and spends weekends in Lebanon , which he regards as having a more gay-tolerant society.